#1 Best Seller
One island paradise. One hell of a choice.
When Ruby Lamont’s young son Jake starts telling tall tales about the dad who walked out on them six years ago, she realises that, for her son’s sake, it’s time to find out the truth. It’s not that she wants Kenny back in her life—her best friend, charming commitment-phobe Griffin, has always been more of a father-figure to Jake—but if she can understand once and for all why Kenny broke her heart by leaving her, perhaps she and Jake can finally move on.
Their journey takes them to heart-shaped Sorrel Island, a Caribbean paradise that according to legend was created as an enchanted refuge for lovers. For no-nonsense Ruby, romance is the last thing on her mind. Spoiling for a fight, she confronts her runaway ex, but he’s a changed man, or so he claims. Just as Ruby’s starting to remember what she saw in Kenny, gorgeous American portrait artist Mac propositions her for a role as his muse, or more…and when Griffin shows up out of the blue, seemingly with more on his mind than friendly moral support, the tropical heat builds to an inferno.
With sparks of lust and jealousy flying in all directions, Ruby has to wonder whether the magic of Sorrel Island is more than just a legend. As the truth of Kenny’s departure—and Griffin’s arrival—spills out, she seems destined for another devastating heartbreak. Shaken out of her state of romantic limbo, Ruby must discover whether people really can change—or if paradise has been on her doorstep all along.
‘I adore Frances’ books. Strictly Friends is the perfect romance: it has three fascinating hunky love interests and a setting which will make you want to run out and buy a plane ticket for the Caribbean. But it’s more than all that. Ruby is the perfect heroine of our time, feisty, successful, fun, stunning in heels and yet vulnerable, lacking true self-belief. She is a wonderful loyal mother to the cutest boy; she is the friend you want to spend time with. Yet, in her quiet moments, she represents us all, questioning, unsure, rushing forward into uncertainty.
Like the island sunshine and the samba dancing on the beach and the sweet rum punch, I enjoyed every moment of this delightful book.’ – author Judy Leigh (pseudonym Elena Collins)
“A heart-warming, gorgeous novel about how two flawed characters learn to accept each other and themselves. A perfect curl-up-in bed read.” – Lizzie Damilola Blackburn, author of Yinka, Where is Your Huzband?
‘I enjoyed Strictly Friends very much. It’s an easy read which takes you to a beautiful island in the Caribbean Sea. The protagonist is likeable and vulnerable, and this sweet story has the happy ending that we all love in a romance novel.’ – Vasundra Tailor, author of The Secret of Elephants
“The book explores the themes of love, friendship, family, and microaggression. It centers on the main character (Ruby)and her journey to the island of love (Sorrel Island). This is an emotional read. The description is so vivid that you become one with the story… I love the way the author crafted the plot, the settings merging seamlessly and the characters doing just what they are called to do.
The author takes the reader on a journey of humor, tears, laughter, and pain. If you love women’s fiction with romance, you will love this.” Amazon reviewer
“I loved Sorrel Island and its history in the novel. The main romance was lovely and heartwarming.” Amazon reviewer
“With believable characters and a strong and somewhat stubborn protagonist, this is a well-drawn and delightful story of love, loss and friendship, perfect for fans of Tessa Bailey.”
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